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A Missing Ingredient In The Melting Pot

Every Sunday, about 85,000 people fill FedEx Field in the nation's capital to support the Washington Redskins. Million more cheer on from local bars, pubs, and from the confines of their home for one of the wealthiest and most valuable franchises in the National Football League.

However, with so many looking to support the Redskins on every, and any given Sunday, there are many more that are against the Redskins, their management, and even FedEx.

If you guessed its the Dallas Cowboys and their fans, you are incorrect. It is not the Giants, Eagles or any other NFC East divisional rival. In fact, this large assembly of people and their issue with the Washington Redskins has no ties to football at all.

Give up?

Well, the answer is Indian Country.

"What, and who is Indian Country", you may say? Indian Country is comprised of all Native Americans from every tribe within the borders of our great nation. Indian Country for many years have fought for rights, freedom, and equalities just like others have in this nation's storied and grim past. However, unlike other races, Native Americans have little to no progress at all.

It is no secret that race relations in America is still a work in progress. It is fragile at best. From slave trades, immigration laws, annexation of territories, civil wars, segregation and civil rights movements, we have seen a fair share of struggles amongst ourselves and to live amongst one another in peace and harmony. An idea so simple, yet so shaded and blurred by ignorance and hatred, the thought of it becoming reality is nearly non-existent.

Yet, despite the ugly that surrounds our vision of race relations, it is, and always has been simplified between the two races-black and white. Although we all know as a society, even when being politically correct that there are indeed more races, our society tends to throw these two races to the forefront of every issues. And can you blame us? There has been a lot of history between the two.

Yet, despite the horrific past of blacks and whites, Native Americans still managed to survive an even more horrific past than both. Lest we not forget, throughout history, and throughout the wars and battles between the blacks and whites, it was the Native Americans who were hated by both. American history has shown us that Native Americans were persecuted by everyone. Although blacks were often seen as the inferior race, Native Americans were not considered good enough to be slaves, and were often killed.

But what about Nazi Germany, you might ask?

The Six million that were murdered in Nazi Germany is still the worst plague in World History. The sheer brutality and slaughtering of the innocent is still a black eye, and is a great reminder of the power of bigotry and ignorance.

And how about the slave trade?

The slave trade was equally as great. Many men, women and children were punished, beaten and raped while under slavery to force blacks to feel subhuman based on the simple shade of their skin. It is as ridiculous as it sounds. It's an issue that lasted a century, from the trades, through segregation and the civil rights movements. Some can argue, that it still exists today, yet, it is another race relations issue that has marred our history.

Although both are terrible, each have managed to mend the broken hearts, right the wrongs, and help erase ignorance to prevent history from repeating itself in our nation. Nazi Germany has fallen down, and the swastika and all that surrounds the evil under Hitler has as no credibility at all. In fact, it has opened our eyes in our society to see that the thought of a superior race is a mere delusional concept.

As for the slave trade, blacks have come a long way. Although, there still is tension between whites and blacks, the struggle is no longer as great as it once was. The civil rights movement helped America toward integration, and was also a catalyst for whites, blacks and other races becoming one America.

An example of that progression is evident that we can possibly bear witness to the first United States President of color. However, that is a subject in its own self.

Native Americans have had little, if at all, any progress since the days of their ancestors being uprooted from this land. After being tortured and killed, similar to the slave trade, and the holocaust, Native Americans have yet to make any progress for the better of their people, and the better of this nation. And much of it has to do with us as a society.

Our lack of understanding for Indian Country is a great reason. We all assume Native Americans are happy with their territories, and are all doing well due to Casinos and other forms of gambling, gaming and private businesses not regulated by the United States Government.

However, the truth is, many territories, and tribes are struggling to make ends meet just like every other American today. In fact, 20 percent of tribal territories across the nation do not have proper plumbing and electricity in their villages. 80 percent of Indian Country is unemployed, with 60 percent of those employed, still below the poverty line.

Although many are self-governed and for the most part, attempting to be self-sufficient, Indian Country pays taxes to the Federal government and participates in all courses and actions as a United States citizen. Despite their contributions, Indian Country are not eligible to receive the perks of health care, medicaid and even protection from police forces. Just this past year, President Bush decided to cut the budget for Indian Country growth and development for the umpteenth time during his presidency. In result, many Native Americans continue to die due to illnesses, disease, and murders that are overlooked, undetected and unreported right here in our backyard.

Unlike many other races, Indian Country is still stuck in a phase where general human rights are still being denied to them. And unlike other races, Indian Country is not fighting for their voice to be heard in the mix of our society, they are just merely attempting to strike a chord.

However, we all continue to drown them out every Sunday as 85,000 people fill FedEx Field to support the Washington Redskins.

Redskin- A term used as a slur towards Native Americans deeming them sub-human; A term used for Native Americans who were skinned alive and burnt at a stake.

As a society, we have made great strides toward becoming that desired melting pot. But, it seems we have been leaving out a key ingredient.

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